Sudan Calling: When they’re even arresting donkeys…

January 28, 2019

This week, I speak with Amar, an activist and friend of PAX.

Amar often sends me pictures or short videos showing the protests. Now that people have been taking to the streets in large numbers for over a month, it seems like the security services are starting to get desperate.

“Hi, Amar, how’s it going?”

“Alhamdulillah [Praise be to God], everything’s good. And you? It’s Sunday — have you had a nice weekend?”

“Yes, I was visiting family and just came home. You just sent me two pictures, a donkey with an Arabic text and that blue pickup. What am I looking at?”

“Haha, it’s funny: people keep coming out to demonstrate, despite violence from the police and the security services, and the government is inventing crazier and crazier stories. When the protests started in December, they said the Israeli secret service was behind it. That was so far-fetched that people laughed out loud. So they said that rebels from Darfur had infiltrated Khartoum to stir up trouble because of the bad economy. People also found that so ridiculous that one of the slogans during protests across the country is now “the whole country is Darfur”.

“About that photo, the one with the donkey — someone wrote  with a spray can on the side of the donkey ‘I’m against al-Bashir’. It’s not allowed to criticize the regime – if you do, you can go to prison.”

“So that’s what you see in the second picture — that’s a police pick-up truck, and that cop has put the donkey in the back, like he’s arresting him.”

“Hahaha, that’s hilarious.”

“I also had tears of laughter when I saw it. When they’re even arresting donkeys, they must be very desperate.”

“I get it — If they arrest all the donkeys, they’ll look silly, but if they don’t do anything, they’ll be anti-Bashir donkeys walking around everywhere. Brilliant. — It’s late Amar, I’m going to bed – talk to you next week.”

“Tamam [ok], sleep well. When I’ve got more photos, I’ll send them to you.”

[Amar is a pseudonym, to protect his or her safety]

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